Kengo Kuma’s cake shop opens in Tokyo

Kengo KumaImage courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

Kengo Kuma’s cake shop opens in Tokyo

Kengo Kuma has been pushing the boundary for some time, making unexpected materials work hard on his facades. The FRAC building in Marseille, and the Green Cast building and Towada City Plaza – both in Japan – all demonstrate his inventive skills when it comes to exteriors.

Kengo KumaImage courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

For his latest project he has taken the conventional form of a bamboo basket and has ‘re-woven’ it as the cladding for a cake shop. The shop called Sunny Hills sits on a corner of the residential district Aoyama in Tokyo, and specialises in a particular sort of Taiwanese pineapple cake.

Kengo KumaImage courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

The diamond latticing envelops nearly the entire three-storey building, just leaving space for a doorway and a roof terrace. Kuma explains that “It is built on a joint system called Jiigoku-Gumi, a traditional method used in Japanese wooden architecture. Normally the two pieces intersect in two dimensions, but here they are combined in 30 degrees in three dimensions, which came into a structure like a cloud.” The construction used more than 500m of wooden strips and was put together by local craftsmen, without the use of glue or nails.

Kengo KumaImage courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates

“Our aim was to create a forest in the busy city centre,” says Kuma. “We studied how lighting states would change in a day in the woods, and came up with a shape like a basket.” So sunlight is filtered through the slats, rather in the way it would be by tree branches. The Sunny Hills sites is finished off with a floor tiled with cork – how in-keeping.

more. http://kkaa.co.jp/

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